Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie is assuring the public that the instances of flash flooding that shut down a section of the capital city on Tuesday evening are being taken seriously.
Mr. McKenzie, who toured Marcus Garvey Drive in the vicinity of the 9th Avenue intersection and the Tinson Pen Aerodrome called yesterday’s flooding incident unfortunate.
“The events of yesterday evening have created a lot of concerns, and rightly so. The government acknowledges what took place yesterday was rather unfortunate, and we have to find solutions to the issues that confront us,” McKenzie said.
The minister was also accompanied by engineers and other personnel from the National Works Agency (NWA) and the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC).
Minister McKenzie, who returned from witnessing the devastation experienced by Trinidad in its recent flooding says the effects of climate change are starting to manifest across the region.
“I witnessed first-hand what took place in Trinidad. Climate change is playing a significant role in the weather pattern not just here in the Caribbean, but right across the world,” he argued.
According to the minister, Tuesday’s traffic-halting floods are to his knowledge the first to affect Marcus Garvey Drive since the infrastructural upgrades carried out back in 2016. However, he said, a new drainage system is necessary to meet the demands of the growing city.
“This section of Marcus Garvey Drive that contributed significantly to the dislocation that took place in the city yesterday – the drainage system that presently exists was put in by a previous contractor many years ago,” McKenzie contended.
According to him, no drainage upgrades were carried out, due primarily to the location of the Tinson Pen Aerodrome in proximity to the drains. He said this is now rectified and the proper process should start in short order.
“There was restrictions in regards to what you could build and the closeness [thereof], now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, there is a comprehensive upgrading of the drainage system for this side of the Corporate Area – somewhere along the lines of the Sandy Gully that was constructed,” he noted.
By: Franklin McKnight